Roasted turkey with chestnuts or roasted goose, oysters, foie gras, lobster, venison, and cheeses might all be on the menu. A chocolate sponge cake log known as a buche de Noel is traditionally served for dessert. Another tradition in some regions of France is the consumption of 13 different sweets!
In England, Germany, and America, children write letters to Santa Claus. In France, adults send cards decorated with photos taken during la semaine de l'écologie (week of ecology), which takes place around Christmas time. These cards are called "blésques" - meaning little stones - because they are usually given as gifts from one person to another.
The French like celebrating Christmas and other religious holidays so much that they even have their own word for it: les jours religieux. On these days off, workers have free time to go shopping for holiday gifts or eat out with friends and family. It's a popular idea that if you don't take a day off from work, you won't get any money that week!
Christmas is a federal holiday in Canada so most businesses are closed on this day. However, most stores will be open late on Dec. 24 due to public holidays. This gives people the opportunity to finish up last-minute shopping or spend time with family before heading home for the holiday.
New Year's Eve is when Canadians celebrate New Year's Day.
Turkey and chestnuts are served in Burgundy. Oysters, foie gras, and the traditional cake in the shape of a Yule log, or "buche de Noel," which used to burn on the fireplace on Christmas Eve, are popular delicacies in Paris and the Ile-de-France area. Muscadet, Anjou, Sauterne, and Champagne are the most common wines offered. In Normandy, it's beer and cheese that usually mark the beginning of Christmas celebrations.
Traditional French desserts include brioche with cinnamon and sugar, fruit tarts, and caramelized apples. The main dish for Christmas is boeuf (beef) - the most popular choice being poularde (turkey). Other meats such as pork and lamb are also commonly found on restaurant menus. Fowl dishes such as duck and goose are popular during this time of year. Fish is often served instead at dinner parties; the most common choices are salmon and sea fish such as trout and eel. Shellfish such as clams, oysters, and mussels are always available throughout the year but are especially plentiful during Christmastime.
The earliest evidence of Christmas markets dates back to 14th century Germany when merchants would set up stalls in town squares with items they wanted to sell such as food, clothes, and even toys. These days, Christmas markets have become an important part of the holiday season for many people around the world. There are two types: those with classic wooden structures filled with handmade goods and others made out of metal that feature high-tech lighting and sound effects.
A classic French Christmas supper includes oysters as an appetizer, a scrumptious stuffed roast goose or turkey for main course, and a delectable Buche de Noel (Christmas Yule Log) for dessert.
Besides being delicious, this feast has its roots in tradition. During the 15th century in France, after months of fasting during Advent and Christmas, people started eating again after midnight on Christmas Eve when church services began. Since then, French people have been enjoying their first meal of the day with family and friends.
In addition to pork and poultry, beef was also used to make French cuisine more affordable to a working class population. In fact, the word "meat" itself comes from the Latin mens, meaning "what we eat", because it was once necessary for humans to work off their meals before moving onto the next one!
During the 19th century, when food shortages were common due to industrialization and global trade restrictions, people started using ingredients such as chestnuts, apples, and potatoes in new ways to create dishes that can still be found in many French recipes today. A classic French Christmas dinner remains a vital part of every holiday season for anyone who wants to show loved ones how much they are appreciated.
This is a Provencal French Christmas tradition, but it's worth noting since it seems so "difficult"—can you picture having 13 sweets after the main (large) Christmas feast? They are significant in France because they represent Christ and the 12 apostles at the Last Supper.
The custom of serving these "desserts" began in the 11th century when monks decided to give something sweet to those who were fasting during Advent. Since then, it has become an important part of Christmas celebrations in the south of France.
These aren't really desserts! They're called "desserts galantes" which means "lovely dishes." There are several varieties of these small dishes that are always exquisitely decorated with candied fruits, nuts, and flowers.
In addition to the recipes below, there are also pralines, pastries, cakes, and cookies available. If you ask for "un dessert," they will usually send you back a selection of various small dishes for your choice of payment.
The number 13 represents Christ and his apostles. It also happens to be the number of pieces of candy produced by the DuPont company each day. So, perhaps they made these sweets to celebrate their love for children. Either way, they're delicious!
Christmas menus in France include many different dishes and snacks.
Parisians traditionally spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at home with family and friends, feasting on traditional French holiday fare such as raw oysters, foie gras, buche de noel, and much more! The days leading up to Christmas are filled with shopping at luxury stores and boutiques across the city, followed by visiting with friends and family.
Christmas is a public holiday in France. In addition to getting time off work, French citizens also get an extra day off with no hassles from their employers. New Year's Eve is another popular date for parties in Paris - it is called "Le 1er janvier" or "The First of January."
There are many famous landmarks in Paris that come into view just before you reach your destination. The Eiffel Tower is one of them. It is illuminated in red, white, and blue lights for the holidays. There are also many other smaller attractions around the city center that you might want to see while you're in Paris during the holidays. For example, there is a small train that runs through the Jardin des Plantes with several stops along the way. At each stop, musicians will play music and dancers will dance for money!
The Louvre Museum is always closed on Christmas Day, but it remains open on Christmas Eve and tours of the museum take place then.